The airlines agreed in August to renew partnership for five years
Qantas, Emirates welcome ACCC's green light for continued partnership
Qantas and Emirates Airlines said on Saturday they welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's draft determination that proposes giving a green light to the continued partnership of the two carriers for the next five years.
The two airlines agreed in August of 2017 to extend their agreement for another five years. The new leg of the agreement is set to offer travellers improved schedule choice and increased frequent flyer benefits, the companies said in a joint statement. A final decision is expected in March.
"We are pleased that the ACCC's draft determination supports the authorisation of our partnership with Qantas for a further five years until 2023," an Emirates spokesperson said in the Saturday statement.
"More than 8 million passengers have benefited from Emirates and Qantas' joint network since the partnership began in 2013, and we look forward to continue leveraging on each airline's unique strengths to offer travellers even more choice and enhanced services in the coming years."
Emirates said in October that it will drop its flights to Auckland from Melbourne and Brisbane this year in the latest adjustment to its Australian operations, following the agreement to renew its partnership with Australia's Qantas.
The Dubai-based airline will drop the flights from March, while Qantas will add seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland.
Qantas’ new services will carry an Emirates code and will connect to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore, and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.
Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and is also considering additional direct services between Dubai and New Zealand.
Qantas announced in August that it would drop Dubai as a transit hub for some of its London flights, as part of a new extension of the carrier’s partnership arrangement with Emirates. The Australian carrier was keen to emphasise that the rerouting would not adversely affect Emirates or the carriers' relationship, with Qantas passengers still able to transit through Dubai by flying on Emirates planes.
The routing changes are part of the new five-year partnership agreement signed between Qantas and Emirates.
"The ACCC's draft determination is an important step in helping us deliver a better travel experience and more options between Australia, the UK and Europe for millions of customers," a Qantas spokesperson said.
"The first five years of the partnership has lived up to the promise of serving our customers better, together, and the changes to our network are designed to reinforce this for the next five years."